Saturday, May 17, 2008

Al Franken is a big fat tax evader

For those who haven't been following it, just two state over from us, Al Franken has been having some problems in his race to unseat Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota, primarily because it turns out that Franken owes income taxes in no fewer than 17 states. He blames it on his accountant, of course.

But given that the Democratic mantra is that Republicans are corrupt and Democrats are scrupulously honest, this doesn't fit the script very well, and things are looking pretty rosy for Coleman right now.

There was already the $25,000 fine for not paying workers' compensation for his employees.

Before that, it was the revelation in the book Do As I Say, Not As I Do that of the 112 employees that Franken had hired over the years, only one was black -- this in spite of the fact that Franken supports affirmative action and calls conservatives racists.

But at least, contrary to his usual form, Franken was able to be unintentionally humorous about that one, since he threatened to sue the author if that part of the book wasn't pulled from print (what a guy -- a defender of free speech, too!)

That's not the funny part, though. The funny part is that he wasn't suing the author because it was false, but because that information was private -- thus confirming that the information was true. Can't let it get out that Mr. Franken doesn't like to hire blacks, can we? Or maybe Mr. Franken just never runs across any people of color in the entertainment industry...

In a perfect world, a second-rate comedian like Franken wouldn't have a shot at getting elected to the U.S. Senate. But then, this is Minnesota, where strange things have happened before.

After all, it is convenient to think of Franken as a sort of liberal Jesse Ventura -- just without the ripped muscles or the keen intellect. Ventura has a better sense of humor, too. (Remember Ventura's line about his idea of gun control?) Fortunately, rather than dropping out, as Democratic leaders in MN had been hoping, Franken is soldiering on. One imagines that he will be providing more laughs in this campaign than he did in his books of "political humor."

And perhaps will waste a bunch of money on the race in the process. We need all the little bright spots this year that we can find.

Addendum: Last Best Place notes that Franken is pulling out the big guns, and hiring someone from the Sen. Jon Tester team.


Anonymous said...

Talking points - I'll bet I'll see a virtual verbatim of this on other blogs. Facts to follow, not to be highlighted here.

David said...

"The Democratic mantra is that Republicans are corrupt and Democrats are scrupulously honest."

Funny, I've never heard that mantra before. I didn't even know that Democrats had mantras.

Anonymous said...

I read that Al Franken is bringing in Tester’s former campaign manager and his current Chief of Staff. Reminds me of his book, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” It worked in 2006, why not 2008! Ol’ Jon Tester won’t be far behind campaigning for the tax dodger.

Montana Headlines said...

Um, this post linked to two other blogs that touched on the subject. Nothing particularly secret about that. It's news. Bloggers blog about news.

David -- that part was of course hyperbole, albeit hyperbole based roughly on the left's election-year talking points.

Jack -- you can indeed be sure that Tester will be off campaigning and raising money at soirees for Franken (probably not many here in Montana, though.) Plus a little for his own re-election campaign.

David said...

"the left's election-year talking points."

Sorry, I'm not buying it. Both parties tend to think they have a monopoly on virtue. It's not a Democratic phenomenon. If you doubt me, tune in Sean Hannity someday when a Republican scandal breaks and see how long it takes him to mention Chappaquiddick.

In my view, the public considers both parties equally corrupt. In reality, the party that has the most power tends to be the most corrupt. That's why Republicans have shown the way in recent years -- but Ds are sure to catch up.

David said...

But what I meant to say was: The thing that bugs me about "mantra" is the silly ease with which it pushes its way into discussions about what ought to be serious matters. Such words undermine dialog rather than enhance it. Damn it, words ought to mean something.

Anonymous said...

Democratic Leaders Rally across the Country to Clean up Washington

Washington, D.C. – Democrats from across the country today unveiled their Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. In the Great Hall of the Library of Congress, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi were joined by Senator Barack Obama and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and their Senate and House colleagues to shine a spotlight on the Republican “pay for play” politics that put special interests first at the expense of the priorities of the American people, and sign a pledge to restore honest leadership and open government.

"There’s a price to pay for this corruption in Washington, and we can see it in the state of our union,” said Leader Reid....

"An ethical cloud hangs over the Capitol,” said Leader Pelosi. “For years Democrats have called for an end to the Republican culture of corruption, but Republicans have resisted every effort because they benefit from allowing it to continue. This poison tree of corruption has borne the fruits of bad legislation – legislation that has come at great cost to the American people. Democrats are leading the effort to turn the most closed, corrupt Congress we have ever seen into the most open and honest Congress in history.”

...Democrats today announced the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, a comprehensive government reform plan that will clean up and protect the government from the Republican culture of corruption and quid pro quo politics.

from, January 18, 2006

Seems to me that MH's statement was accurate. But I would agree, at the same time, that Americans view both parties as corrupt, which means Democrats are playing a dangerous game when they get too sanctimonious.

It also is a given that the party with the most power is the one that has the most corruption. Republicans haven't had much chance to act holier than thou--its nice to get a break from that--but after the election I suppose we'll have to endure some of that.

Actually, maybe I shouldn't say endure. Part of the role of a minority party is to keep the majority honest by pointing out flaws, mistakes, etc. Guess it depends on how they do it.